Starring in the Movie of My Life by Laurel Osterkamp is a sparkling book. Matter of fact, I didn’t want this coming of age story to end. The novel is about Melody and Samantha who travel through high school and proto-adulthood duking it out, conniving, and dreaming, their loves and lives coming together at pivotal points in the story, influenced by an older generation before choosing their own ways. There are surprises on every page, I’m not kidding, events I never would have predicted, and yet they were spot on and made the book unforgettable for me. The story is told against a cinematic backdrop that I loved and the tone and writing are perfect, mirroring and creating mood.
The structure of the story is a real beauty with a unique build, a game-changer, like Gehry architecture, but I had a hard time deciding who the main character is, although why I bothered is beyond me. I settled for two. Both Melody and Samantha—and let’s not forget their mothers—have starring roles, but it’s Samantha—Sam, the almost-mother, the film-buff—who owns the story’s heartbeat and who thinks of life in terms of the flicks she’s seen or watches during the book.
Having two main characters gives Starring in the Movie of My Life a greater resonance and depth. First it’s Samantha’s turn to tell the story, then it’s Melody’s. Sometimes we get the same information but from two different points of view. And the stories of these women intertwine as well as entertain. There are other players who change, too—Nathan and Collin, for instance—and I liked them both immensely as well as Sam’s mother who makes a cameo later on in the novel. Oh yes, the story’s about mothers, too, and what they do to us and how we, despite our best efforts, mirror them. Or do we?
I could go on, but Laurel Osterkamp is a major storyteller who’s not afraid of themes and change and having good characters do nasty things. So if you love an unputdownable story, one that sticks to your brain and changes you, you won’t want to miss this read.
Laurel Osterkamp gets very attached to her characters. Scared Together is her newest story starring Lucy, who debuted in Campaign Promises, a free novella Laurel released to thank all her awesome readers. Then Lucy’s story continued with November Surprise and Blue State, both available on Amazon. Most recently there’s The Holdout, also featuring Lucy, but the main character is Monty’s cousin Robin, and it’s about love, justice, and reality TV.
You can find Laurel on Twitter but she doesn’t tweet super often. A better idea is to follow her blog, www.laurelosterkamp.blogspot.com, or Lucy’s blog, www.novembersurprises.blogspot.com, where you’ll read about Lucy’s career, marriage, and politics.
Laurel teaches in Minneapolis, MN. She enjoys her boot collection, spending time with her husband and two chatty children, and finding time to write. Her other novels are both award winning – Following My Toes and Starring in the Movie of My Life. Visit her at www.laurelosterkamp.com.